Budget cuts may ax powerful telescopes

Nov 06, 2006

U.S. federal science officials said budget constraints may force the closure of the Arecibo dish and the Very Long Baseline Array telescope network.

A committee recommended the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., shut down the Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico and the VLBA network by 2011 if it cannot find organizations willing to share annual operating costs of about $8 million and $11 million, respectively, NewScientist.com said. The closures were part of the committee's recommended $30 million reduction in the foundation's operating budget.

Scientists and researchers who operate both telescope programs said they would work to find others willing to assist financially, NewScientist.com said.

Arecibo is the world's most sensitive radio telescope, NewScientist.com said. The giant antenna is fixed, but the Earth's rotation on its axis and movement of a receiver suspended above the reflective dish allow it to scan about 40 percent of the sky over a year.

The VLBA is a network of 10 radio dishes stretching from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands, offering what scientists said is unmatched resolution at radio wavelengths, NewScientist.com said. The network led to discoveries of cosmic jets and studies of galaxies powered by black holes.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Mysteries of space dust revealed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Earthquakes over 5 magnitude shake Iceland volcano

1 hour ago

Two earthquakes measuring over 5 in magnitude—the biggest yet—have shaken Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano after the country issued an aviation red alert warning that an ash-emitting eruption may be imminent.

Airlines on alert as eruption begins in Iceland

15 hours ago

Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano burst forth with a small eruption Saturday under the ice of Europe's largest glacier, scientists said, prompting the country to close airspace over the area.

Two Galileo satellites lose their way

18 hours ago

Two European Galileo satellites launched as part of a navigation system designed to rival GPS have failed to locate their intended orbit, launch firm Arianespace said Saturday.

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

Aug 29, 2014

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

Aug 29, 2014

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 0